Monday Musings ~ September 24, 2023

It’s Monday and that means two things, (a) we need a smile to start out the week and (b) we’re gonna get our groove down at the same time.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe you need to work on improving your wag-o-meter.

Monday smile

Here’s hoping today has a great beat and your wag-o-meter is in good working order. Happy Monday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 11, 2023

9/11 Monday

Twenty-two years ago we watched in horror and disbelief as life as we knew it changed our world. Today is Patriot Day where we salute, honor and remember all the heroes from that fateful day. We will never forget.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ Labor Day 2023

Today is the first Monday of September and it’s also Labor Day in the U.S. and Canada. We send our best wishes for the unofficial end of summer, even as temperatures continue to remind us it’s not over. Not sure when or if those will ever end, yet we hope today is an enjoyable day off.

Labor Day

If you’ve ever wondered how we came to celebrate this day, please check our past posts here and here.

Stay safe and cool, while enjoying one last summer BBQ  and recall those who made it possible. Happy Labor Day from me and the Ninja.

Live, love, bark! 🐾


Mondays Musings ~ August 14, 2023


May all your foodables be ‘wagnificent’ this week…with no buffering or static.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 7, 2023

Monday Musings

Elsa and I recently experienced a similar question when we were out on our walk. The woman was certain that Elsa was ‘some sort of Doodle’ and imagine her reaction when I replied, “no, she’s a ‘sub-Standard.’ I always get tickled when humans give me a head tilt look. That goofy response was always more accurate when I was referring to Sam, but not especially as much with Elsa. She’s many things but sub-standard is not one of them.

Here’s wishing you a better than standard week, in fact, we hope it’s 100% pure bread.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 31, 2023

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Musings. After that recent smile with the talking dog seemed to delight many of you, we thought let’s find another one top start out the week. I think you’ll agree these contestants from the 2015 season of Britain’s Got Talent might just fill the bill. Sorry, I was unable to remove those pesky ads in the middle of it, but I still think you just might be charmed, I know I sure was. And anything that can make sourpuss Simon smile…can’t be bad, right? When you combine a charming humble upright with a too “a-dog-able” Wendy and Marc…a winning combination in my books. Let’s hear it for 4 big fat yeses!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 24, 2023

There are several of  these talking dog videos on YouTube that just crack me up. Hope this one provides you with a smile and well…maybe even a kitten to start out your week on a happy note. It started out fairly clever but then left me wanting more on the ending. Guess I’ll be going further down the ‘rabbit hole’ this morning to get more satisfaction. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 17, 2023

Monday smile

Is that where that document went?! Hmmm, maybe I should check with the neighborhood kid. Here’s hoping that only the things you want deleted, end up actually going away.

Have a great week and try to stay cool if you can. For those keeping track, there are ‘only‘ 67 days until the official start of autumn. Or in other words, 9.57 weeks, 1608.0 hours, and 2.39 months until then. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 23, 2023

Grieving ElsaAloha and welcome to another Nature Friday, hosted by our pals Rosy and Sunny from Adventures of the LLB Gang. It’s just me, Elsa because you may remember Norman became an angel last week. Mom and I have been holding each other trying to get used to his absence. We stayed with my Grandpa for several days which was comforting but it’s still been a day to day, up and down week. Even chasing skinks and bunnies wasn’t as fun as it used to be because I miss my big brother. Mom’s struggling herself but is trying hard to help me. Who knew us dogs grieved but let me assure you, we most certainly do. I mostly lay around moping and only come to life when we go on walks. So let’s share some of the beautiful things from Mom’s trip to the Big Island.

Signs from Lava Lava Club
Signage at Lava Lava Club

Elsa: {hollering} Ooh Mom…since you were there, will you help explain things?

The Mom: Of course, little one. I’m happy to help you, though I know you’ll do a fine job.

Elsa: It’s just not the same without my brother partner-he was so good with verifying stuff. You know me, I can be a bit of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal.

The Mom: Umm, I did know that but I’ll help wherever I can.

Volcano, Mauna Kea

Elsa: Great, let’s get started then. First time visitors to the Big Island are never truly prepared for the sights they’re going to encounter. The Kona side has the sunniest weather but if you’re hankering for tropical rainforests, desert-y places or snowy conditions (Mauna Kea has blizzards ,on the summit) you’ll find those too. So you told me the view from your bedroom window looked at two volcanos. Kohala, the only extinct volcano on the Big Island (it’s also in the driest part of the island receiving only about 10 inches of rain per year and is on the far left end obscured under the sunrise in the above photo) and Mauna Kea, the tallest at 13,796 ft. above sea level. You told me the landscape was just incredible with splashes of green growing up from the middle of the lava trails.

Volcanos-Kohala & Mauna Kea

Petroglyph Reserve

The Mom: It sure was nothing like I’ve ever seen on the mainland and blew me away especially when I visited the Waikoloa Petroglyph field, some of them date back to the 16th century. The different types of lava flows were so fascinating and left me in total awe of the power of volcano eruptions and the pressure used to create the island. Pāhoehoe flows have  smooth, billowy, or ropy surfaces, while the A‘ā flows have rough, jagged, or clinkery surfaces. They are pretty unstable and hard to walk on and you have to really watch where you’re going so you don’t fall. And then there are the fascinating lava tubes, those natural conduits where the lava travels beneath the surface of a lava-flows. Those tubes were formed by the crusting over of lava channels and pahoehoe flows. A broad lava-flow field often consists of a main lava tube with a series of smaller tubes that supply lava to the front of one or more separate flows. This one was a major tube at the petroglyph preserve. It looked like an enormous cave.

Lava flow

Petroglyph signage

Elsa: As clumsy as you have known to be, I’m glad you didn’t fall on any of those loose lava chunks.

The Mom: It was an early morning walk while our group slept in, and because I hiked alone through the preserve, I took extra care walking around.

Elsa: Whew. I sure liked some of the flowers and wildlife you encountered on your walks. So glad you kept your eyes open. Hawaii has some fascinating and unique flowers, trees and animals. I think I’d like this Plumeria flower best because it smells so good and is truly beautiful.

Plumeria Flower

The Mom: Plumeria is my favorite of all the island flowers. It’s often used to make leis and comes in a variety of  colors from pink to white and yellow with shades in between. As I walked back from the preserve, I found this flower that I think might be a Bauhinia x blakeana. It was a lovely sight near the golf course lake. They are sometimes known as orchid trees.

Orchid trees

Cattle egrets followed me every day on my daily walks and are typically found in groups near ponds. They are very shy and I couldn’t get close without scaring them off.

Cattle Egret

Elsa: I noticed you also found some goats along the highway going into Kailua Kona. How come you didn’t get a better photo? I know you love goats and Hawaii has gobs of them.

Goats of Hawaii

The Mom: Yeah, these little guys were hanging out in the shade along the road. But we couldn’t stop to get better photos because we were running late getting to the wedding rehearsal. They are all over the island and can pose some problems for unsuspecting tourists who aren’t paying attention along the highway.

Elsa: Well I’m sure I could have herded them away. Angel Norman taught me how to do that.

The Mom: Not likely, Ninja. They are feral and quick as jack rabbits. Feral goats were brought to the islands by Captains Cook and Vancouver in the late 1700’s as gifts to the Hawaiian people. They are cute, but destructive. Wild goats (and wild pigs) on the island are not well liked by the locals since their unquenchable hunger has managed to contribute to the extinction of many special native plants.

Elsa: So I heard you went back to the Greenwell Farm for another tour. Why do you go back every time you’re in Hawaii?

The Mom: Apart from having one of the best coffee beans in the world, the farm dating from the mid-1800’s is a remarkable place and the tours are always informative. I always learn something new every time.

Coffee Farm

Coffee beans

The coffee cherries are separated from the beans and then  dried on large drying racks that are still manually controlled by farm workers to keep them from getting ruined when it rains. Coffee beans Coffee drying racks

Coffee trees

Those coffee trees are descendants from the original coffee trees planted by Elizabeth Greenwell, founder of the farm from the late 1800’s. Our guide called them the granddaughters from the original trees.


Notice that hanging purplish flower on this banana tree? That means the tree is done producing bananas and another will grow in its place.

Elsa: The farm has orchids, lemons and avocados, along with some unusual plants. What the devil is that red thing?

Lobster claw flower

The Mom: That’s Heliconia rostrata, otherwise known as Lobster Claw plant. It’s very showy but I found this Dendrobium orchid even more amazing. Orchids are parasitic and this one is attached to an avocado tree.


Another showy plant that smelled divine was the beautiful Rainbow Golden Shower tree near where we stayed. These flowers were on the inside of the branches and I loved the incredible fragrance whenever I walked under it.

Rainbow Shower tree

Elsa: Wow, that is something beautiful. I know you have millions of other photos that I could share but we probably ought to wrap it up. I think I heard some of our readers snoring. This may all be fascinating to you but others might be bored to tears. One thing that did amaze me were all the sunsets that were so colorful. I know you weren’t able to capture the elusive ‘green flash’ when the sun disappears in the water but here’s a link that explains it well. Maybe the next time you go you’ll capture it.

Hawaii sunset

The Mom: I got very close at the wedding but alas my cell phone camera just wasn’t quick enough. They only last a nano-second but it’s quite cool to witness. And speaking of the wedding, here’s a photo of the happy couple. I’m so grateful to have been able to share in their special day.

Hawaii wedding

Elsa: Miss Hailey (my favorite vet tech) was gorgeous and Christian is my buddy. So what’s on the agenda for your weekend? Doing anything special? I think the extreme weather here is gone (we’ve had buckets of rain, super destructive hail and a tornado that went through the southern suburbs here yesterday) so let’s just chill and hang out together, ok Mom?

The Mom: That we can do, little one. Thanks for sharing pics for this week’s Nature Friday. I know it’s been hard for you but I’m always here for you as you figure out what being an only dog is all about. So far, you’ve handled yourself very well, sweetie. Keep up the good work.

Elsa: Thanks Mom. Hopefully I’ll figure it out. I always thought of myself as the top dog but being an only dog is different. With your love and support I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

And then there was one…

This is the kind of post no pet parent wants to share. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to say my beloved Norman joined his brother Sam yesterday evening. He had just turned 12. To say my heart is broken and devastated would be an understatement. I’m far too heartbroken and emotional at the present moment to do any justice expressing how much Norman meant to me beyond the fact that I loved this boy deeply. Perhaps with the passage of time I can do a proper and fitting memoriam. He was pure love, inside and out, and I already miss his gentle spirit so very much. Both my heart and my house are empty missing his presence.

Photo courtesy of DelaFoto Photography

This is probably my most favorite photo that I ever took of Norman. He loved that moose squeaky toy so much and use to bring it to me whenever I returned home, prancing around with it in his mouth, snorting. I would chase him saying, “that’s my toy, Norman, you give it to me.” He would snort and turn his head inviting me to chase him whenever I would reach for it. It was a fun game that I loved playing with him and he seemed to love it as well. Yesterday he brought me that moose after I’d returned from a quick trip to the post office. As was our normal practice, I said to him, “you give me that toy, Norman” and he dropped it at my feet rather than trying to keep it from me. Little did I know at that moment, I think he was trying to tell me his time on this earth was soon to end. Rest in peace my dear boy. Run free with your brother, Sam.


Elsa and I will need some time processing this enormous loss. When I can better deal with it emotionally, I hope to return to blogging. Till then…

Live, love, bark! 🐾